An uber ride from my Miami hotel on a Sunday morning to Miami’s carnival sea port, for an epic journey to the Dominican Republic on my first ever cruise ship ride!
On board Fathom’s Adonia cruise ship we sailed down south to reach Amber Cove, Puerto Plata.
But before we actually sailed a couple of things had happened; from touring the ship, getting set up in our rooms, meeting with our preassigned activates leaders and groups! (I know right, I didn’t expect anything like that, in fact, it’s something not every cruise ship does, or probably ever did!) And going through safety drills with some stand-up comedy on the side! (I’ll explain lol)
on my way to my room with my luggage (let’s do this!)
a little virtual tour of my room via Snapchat
but when your room got teas, coffee, and snacks… Honey, I’m Home!
After getting set up in my room and looking at the daily itinerary and the welcome package… I can almost hear my heart beating.. of joy that is! I just couldn’t wait to see the Dominican Republic and get to engage with the locals and volunteer with the activities Fathom had to offer.
Since it was my first cruise trip, I just did not know what really happens on them. I thought of it as a regular boring transportation ride, like any other to a specific destination. In fact, most of them can be, but it all depends on you deciding to stay in your room and not engage in the activities, or meet people and have fun 10 days away from home! (and of course work/school stress)
Looking at the daily activities; breakfast from 7am-10am, lunch 10am-1pm, Snacks, dinner, etc..
Then there was salsa dancing class, fitness, workshops, Spanish classes, group meetings, karaoke,
it all was basically “How to make friends 101”
We all started out as strangers and became life long friends! apologize.. I mean FAMILY!!
Even with the staff! Like we got so comfortable with each other. The staff started pranking us with taking selfies with our phone! (ME!!)
I decided to go to the restaurant’s dinner not the buffet for the first night (there’re so many places to eat, you will never go hungry not even for a second on that ship!) I was surprised that I got greeted by a host wearing a white shirt and a black collar to match his black pants, seated by a waiter in between a group of strangers on a round table, handed the menu with fancy type fonts and top Manhatten restaurants kind of dishes.
I was the third person to get seated on that table, I and a married couple that looked like they were in their fifties, chatted till another two members joined in (an exchange student to the US and his host) followed by another two young couple from California, ended up with a bunch of strangers knowing more about your life and goals than your own parents and friends over an amazing 4 courses fancy meals and drinks.
But of course when I the clock turned 10:00 pm, cinderella… Oh sorry, I had to excuse myself and catch that salsa dance.
You see! My unforgettable Dominican Republic story kinda officially begins from Salsa class! Where the people that I met became more than just strangers and more into friends, best friends, and family to me!!
I went on this trip alone, but I was never ever alone.. the love and unity that I got while on my Dominican Republic Fathom cruise ship are blessedly a dream!
Let me show you some beautiful Amber Cove pics before we head into town!
Fathom had so many “things to do” both on and off the ship! We used to run around from one event or class to another before it finishes just to not miss another one that was happening at the same time with our full back to back schedule!!
The way Fathom made my Luxurious cruise to the Dominican Republic impactful both mentally and locally is amazing.. to the point you feel good about traveling to poor countries because you’re heading there to volunteer and help local communities as well.
Fathom had so many opportunities to help out locally, for example;
Teaching English to a local school (We were the first tourists they ever saw!)
We got to hear so many beautiful stories of courageous people and how they dealt through all of life’s troubles, that we felt empowered to change and “be the change we want to see in the world”
Here are some of Fathom’s work;
Now; let’s get to the part where we broke some rules and left the cruise ship to have our own adventure!!
One girl had an uncle in DR, so when everyone was doing whatever they were doing (Salsa, shopping, sun tanning, swimming, etc) we sneak out to meet with her uncle, her cousin and her other cousin’s boyfriend! (LOL) to a tour all across the Dominican Republic by car (total of two cars) we stopped on the way to exchange some money, we got the drinks and snacks and went straight to a private beach called Playa La Ensenada!
with lots of corny incidents and miscommunications with lots of hand gestures; unforgettable laughs and funny moments that will definitely make it to my future grandchildren when I tell them about my travels 😀
And why not be a little tourist!
With great friends (I met them on the cruise ship 😀 )
A walk into town central!
Wanted to take a break from social media/my phone in general by turning it off for a week.. but we all know who far that went! People got worried, needed to rest my email password, and needed to use it for a final I had! Actually for half a day exact! But nevertheless, I was stress-free for a good amount now, and besides when your job Is. Social. Media. You can not take a break! 🍵 Here's a pic of a local street in Puerto Plata, where I felt such stress-free just by looking at/passing through it! (Never seen that much motorcycles in one road -after capturing that picture- before)
And a little visit to the amber museum (of course I bought a beautiful pair of amber earrings!)
My amber earrings… I’m wearing them in this picture!
We also visited Brugal
Where they create their most famous Rum
We got a little tour too 😀
With all that, there’s nothing more beautiful than going back -after many long days trips into town- to our Fathom ship at night
Or our view in the next morning!
And when we decided to chill by the pool!
or on the hammock, while doing some work!
Ahh, Life is so beautiful in all its shapes…
We loved how every local we met was very grateful for what they had in life and genuinely happy with what they have… it’s a feeling many people lack and truly seek back in the states, to feel happiness!
The Dominican Republic was an amazing, unforgettable experience.. & I’m very grateful for Fathom Cruises for giving me that opportunity to experience and live, meeting the most wonderful people who I call family now and giving me a chance to experience happiness from the eyes of people with the most basic lives.
DR.. I’ll be back soon. Thanks for the most amazing week of my life 😀